Read Colossians 4:14-15.
The body of Christ has and will always fill the pews with a variety of believers in different stages of their walk and relationship with Christ.
Some will catch the fire quickly or gradually, but either way, their devotion is true and unwavering. They never turn to the left or the right. Their hearts are pointed in one direction -- the way of the Lord. The world appears very black and white to them because they have decided for good rather than evil. Luke and Nympha were just such people. Dr. Luke, the writer of the third gospel (my personal favorite) gave his life for furthering the gospel of Christ. He traveled with Paul often on his missionary journeys, and it is believed that he died a martyr's death. He was a Gentile doctor, educated by the Greeks, who recognized the Messiah and surrendered to be His follower. Nympha, although not as well-known as Luke, gave just as much to the mission of Christ. She gave up the privacy and safety of her home and family to have a home-church meet there. She understood that with devotion comes sacrifice. Even though meeting in her home could bring persecution, she was willing to give to her Lord all she had.
Others will take the name of Jesus, but their commitment rises and falls with the wind. They may or may not participate with the body because their Christianity is based on duty rather than heart. Full devotion is not in their vocabulary because they have never completely surrendered their heart, mind, body, and soul to the Lord Jesus Christ. Self still wants to creep in to daily life, and the Christian label becomes simply a "Get out of hell free" card in their practical life. The Laodicean church is made known as the lukewarm church in Revelation 3. God says that He'd rather we be hot or cold, but a lukewarm people He will "spit out of His mouth." The Laodicean church couldn't decide if they wanted their life guided by God or by their wealth. They fell into the horrible trap that money can buy happiness and that is all that is needed for a meaningful life. But what they miss is that God works on completely different rules than the world. Money may buy temporary happiness, but serving the Master brings overwhelming joy and the hope of eternity with Him.
Lastly, we have the cold. Those who have seen the Truth and choose to turn away from it. They may leave for several different reasons. One, self takes over. The Christian walk asks for too much sacrifice. Or maybe they were hurt by a believer and have thus lumped all of Christianity into one category and therefore want nothing to do with it. Maybe they have done so much wrong that they believe they could never be forgiven or accepted by this group of believers, and so never try. Or maybe they feel judged by believers and find fault with the whole idea from that perception. So many avenues to turn away from a life with Christ. All of them lead to the same place -- eternity without the Father. As I've read the study notes, even though Paul sends greetings from Demas at the end of this letter, we know that Demas deserted Paul later. In 2 Timothy 4:10 Paul tells us that Demas left him "because he loved this world." The draw of the world is strong. The enemy has made it very enticing. It takes diligence to stay in close relationship with Christ and the Body while voiding the temptations of the pleasures of the world. If we don't, we will destroy our faith and walk away from the Lord.
I must remain strong and determined in my relationship with and service to my Lord Jesus Christ. I have one life to live, and I choose to be fully devoted to the Master.
- Which are you -- hot, warm, or cold?
- Look at the people in the Bible - Old and New Testament. Were they hot, warm, or cold. Explain.
- Who do you want to be?
- What does it take to live a life on fire for Christ?